Serbia sees a lack of support from Brussels for its membership, President Aleksandar Vucic has said
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (R) meets Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (L) in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2023 © AFP / John Thys
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that the accelerated path to EU membership offered to Ukraine demonstrates that political support for Serbia’s own membership bid “has never been there for us.”
“I have nothing against Ukrainians,” Vucic told the Financial Times on Sunday. However, he added that the EU’s level of support for Kiev’s membership application “shows us [that such political support] has never been there for us.”
Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union last February, and was formally granted candidate status four months later. In her annual State of the Union address on Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared that Ukraine would “complete our union,” and that “it is clearly in Europe’s strategic and security interests” for Ukraine, as well as the Western Balkans, to join the bloc.
Serbia, by contrast, applied to join the EU in 2009 and had to wait until 2012 to receive candidate status and 2014 for accession talks to begin. Belgrade’s application has since stalled, with Brussels pressuring Vucic to sanction Russia and recognize the breakaway province of Kosovo to boost its chances of membership.